Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is considering scrapping lockdowns in preventing the spread of Covid-19, should he and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III win as President and Vice President in next year’s elections.
Lacson said that while the Philippines has had the world’s longest lockdown, it has not prevented the spread of Covid, much less helped the country recover compared to other nations.
“We’re toying with the idea that after June 30, 2022, wala na tayong lockdown kasi hindi nagwo-work ang longest lockdown. Lockdown ng lockdown, hindi nagwo-work. Baka may ibang approach (We are toying with the idea that after June 30, 2022, we won’t have a lockdown anymore because the lockdown approach is not working. There could be a better approach),” he said at the Pandesal Forum on Thursday.
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Earlier, Lacson mentioned in another interview that all anti-Covid-19-related policy decisions must be science-and-technology-based and data-driven, and should not be a trial-and-error approach.
“As we go on, we adopt methods; ginagawa natin na magwo-work but we stop or reconsider tayo sa hindi nagwo-work. Kung hindi ka flexible, hindi ka nag-a-adapt for some reason, walang mangyayari sa buhay natin (As we go on we adopt methods that work and reconsider those that don’t. If we cannot be flexible or adapt, nothing good will happen to us),” he added.
He said they are considering alternatives such as the more efficient rollout of vaccines, capacitating of government hospitals, and the judicious use of public funds – including the possible use of off-budget “income” of government hospitals to defray the hospitalization expenses of Filipinos confined there.
Lacson cited Nikkei Asia’s COVID-19 Recovery Index listing the Philippines as last in infection control, vaccination and mobility, ranking it dead last among 121 countries.
He said he also pointed this out to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during the hearing for the DOH’s 2022 budget on Wednesday.
“Covid is here to stay, we don’t know when it will end. I told Sec. Duque that what we have is not working. Tayo ang longest lockdown sa buong mundo (We have the world’s longest lockdown),” Lacson said.
Making matters worse are other factors such as corruption in procuring supplies to address the pandemic, along with inefficiency and incompetence.
“Pinaparusahan natin ang ekonomiya at hindi nagwo-work ang health efforts natin para ma-cure ang COVID (We are punishing the economy with health efforts that do not work),” he said.
“Ang daming problema hindi lang pandemic, pati post-pandemic (The next leadership will have to deal not just with the pandemic but with the post-pandemic problems),” he added.